Brawn: Rosberg lap 'exceptional'

Mercedes chief thrilled with team's front row lock-out

Last Updated: 14/04/12 11:24am

  • Share:

Ross Brawn hailed Nico Rosberg's pole-securing lap as "exceptional" after the German delivered the first P1 of his career and the first for a Mercedes works team in over fifty years.

The Brackley-based squad had proved McLaren's main challengers for pole in each of the first two grands prix and many in the paddock were tipping them to break their 2012 front-row duck in China, particularly as the Shanghai circuit's long backstraight plays perfectly to the strengths of their car's much-discussed 'double DRS' system.


Sky Sports F1 HD is THE only place to watch the 2012 Formula One season in full. Coverage of the Chinese Grand Prix continues with the race live and uninterrupted.
SUNDAY - Race from 6.30am
To find out all the different ways to watch the action, click here

Although Lewis Hamilton, pole sitter in Australia and Malaysia, was always going to drop five places on the grid owing to a gearbox change, Mercedes nonetheless managed to outpace the McLaren driver on merit with Rosberg completing a storming single flying Q3 run that saw him lap half a second quicker than both the Briton and team-mate Michael Schumacher.

With Hamilton's penalty ensuring an all-Mercedes front-row, Team Principal Brawn admitted he was thrilled with the result - although struck a note of caution ahead of the race by saying the team still wasn't where they want to be yet over a race distance.

"A quite exceptional performance, particularly from Nico today," he told Sky Sports F1.

"We've had a tough start to the season and we know this is not the main event, the main event's going to happen tomorrow, and I think we've still got work to do to replicate what we've been able to do today in the race. But it's a great step.

"I hadn't realised it's our first pole in such a long time, so very proud of that and the whole team is very proud of it. And a good step towards what we're trying to achieve."

Nico's father Keke Rosberg earned 'just' five poles in his career:

1982 British GP (at Brands Hatch)
1983 Brazil
1985 France
1985 British GP (at Silverstone)
1986 German GP

However, Keke did not win any of those five races he started from pole position...

Brawn reserved special praise for Rosberg, with the German having come in for criticism at the opening two rounds for qualifying behind veteran team-mate Schumacher.

"That was an exceptional lap," Brawn declared. "I think sector two was a long way ahead of everyone else and really exceptional lap. The sort of Nico we know's there. He hadn't quite managed it in the first couple of races but he came back with vengeance today."

Although Schumacher qualified fourth and third at the first two races respectively, Mercedes came away from the latter round in Malaysia with just a single point on the board in total after problems getting the W03's tyres into the correct operating window in race conditions.

With DRS restricted to overtaking situations only on Sunday, Brawn acknowledges it will be a less potent weapon for the team in lap time but is optimistic they have made progress in improving the W03's overall race performance.

"Well obviously tracks where you've got long straights it's going to be more effective, and that's why I guess we're cautious about tomorrow because it's only available to us when use it in the zones for overtaking," he said.

"But the car's not bad without it. We did a lot of work yesterday, we did some high-fuel work this morning and I think we're starting to understand what we need to do and how to get the most out of the tyres.

"But I think it's going to be quite a tough race tomorrow."

  • Share:


Chinese Grand Prix 2012

Lewis Hamilton: Was generous in his praise of his long-time friend

Hamilton: Nico was too strong

Lewis Hamilton was full of praise for his old karting team-mate Nico Rosberg after the German beat the McLarens in Shanghai.

Nico Rosberg: Won at the 111th attempt

Rosberg never doubted himself

Nico Rosberg says he never doubted he would eventually win races in F1 after finally breaking his duck six years into his career in China.

Nico Rosberg celebrates his first ever win

Rosberg joins the elite

Nico Rosberg has won the Chinese Grand Prix after Mercedes successfully pulled off an astonishing bluff to beat Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.

Most Popular


Manchester talking points

Manchester talking points

Anthony Crolla suffered another points loss in his world title rematch with Jorge Linares on another emotionally charged night in Manchester.

Prosinecki’s next trick

Prosinecki’s next trick

European Cup winner and Pompey icon Robert Prosinecki is plotting Germany’s downfall once again with Azerbaijan.

How did your internationals do?

How did your internationals do?

During a week of World Cup Qualifiers and friendlies, we take a look to see how Premier League players are getting on.